Clancy predicts a totally unfunded secret intelligence agency that publishes eBooks that go on to predict the state of war and peace. He is the cultural side of the police state – the non-state state. He predates Jack Bauer by decades. He invents a protomasculine character haunted by the cold war, in seamless transition into the near-warless future. The 90s never died, they just killed. Every dad read this shit and every dad wondered what would need to be done in a worse-case scenario. Wife, kids, house, Xbox, netbook, and cruise missile. Tom Clancy’s next book will be about the war that hasn’t happened yet. The big war. The quiet war that lasts forever. Drone strikes like cymbal crashes. Cyber attacks by children in China. An Etsy dirty bomb. The the hyperpoliticical bedroom radicalism of London’s East End Tumblr scene. He only wants to tell us that we are never safe from stories of violence and instability. There is always the threat that our lives might need to mean something: quickly, violently, profitably.


Author Spotlight / 3 Comments
June 18th, 2012 / 12:24 pm

The Best Recent Stories: The Results

A little while ago, I asked you all to name “the best story that you’ve read in the past few years.” I deliberately didn’t define “best.” After the jump, I’ve compiled what you said …


Vicarious MFA / 10 Comments
March 26th, 2012 / 8:01 am

What’s the best story that you’ve read in the past few years?

(Yes, I will eventually tabulate the results in a post—so vote! And include a link, if it’s online & if you can.)

John Sayles on Screenwriting vs. Fiction Writing

“A script is to a movie as a blueprint is to a building,” he said. “So many of the things that will later be major, visceral aspects of the storytelling — cinematography, music, sound effects, costume, performance, the rhythm of the editing — are only just indicated or assumed, and will be realized by a team of talented collaborators. The fiction writer has to serve all those functions alone, with his prose, selecting information so a handful of notes let readers hear the symphony. A screenwriter creates potential — a novelist has to fulfill it.” –from Up Front

Power Quote / 2 Comments
October 9th, 2011 / 2:55 pm